Monday, September 24, 2007

College Football weekly news and notes

-Courtesy of the National Football Foundation

On-Campus Salutes Held Last Weekend for Thompson and Hillgrove

2007 College Football Hall of Famer Anthony Thompson of Indiana and 2007 NFF Chris Schenkel Award winner Bill Hillgrove of Pittsburgh were honored on their respective campuses last weekend.

Two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Anthony Thompson was honored last Saturday as Indiana hosted Illinois. Thompson was joined on the field by his family, IU athletics director Rick Greenspan and IU President Michael McRobbie. He received a standing ovation and was interviewed live by the Big Ten Network.

Bill Hillgrove, 37-year play-by-play announcer for University of Pittsburgh football, was honored during the Pitt-UConn game last weekend. Pitt President Mark Nordenberg and interim athletics director Donna Sanft also joined Hillgrove during the on-field presentation.

NFF News

NFF College Hall of Fame members Georgia Tech's George Morris (also longtime NFF chapter president and executive director of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award), Virginia's Joe Palumbo, and North Carolina's Harris Barton (also a former NFF Scholar-Athlete) are among 12 greats chosen as the 2007 ACC Football Championship Game Legends Class. Other members of the class include Duke's Clarkston Hines, Florida State's LeRoy Butler, Boston College's Pete Mitchell, Clemson's Jerry Butler, NC State's Dennis Byrd, Maryland's Dick Shiner; Miami's (Fla.) Jim Kelly, and Virginia Tech's Antonio Freeman.

"Football Fridays" returned to the College Football Hall of Fame last week when Notre Dame hosted Michigan State. The events include autograph sessions with Hall of Famers and other football celebrities as well as marching band performances on the Gridiron Plaza, football team visits, tailgate parties, live music, and much more. The next "Football Fridays" weekend in South Bend is Boston College at Notre Dame on Oct. 12-14. For more information, please go to www.collegefoot

Longtime Auburn associate athletics director and NFF member Buddy Davidson was honored with a reception after the Auburn-New Mexico State game last weekend. Davidson recently retired after 50 years at the university and has seen 567 straight Auburn games dating back to 1957.

The NFF Nebraska Chapter honored seven Huskers for outstanding achievements at its annual awards weekend last Friday and Saturday in Lincoln. Jason Peter, Eric Anderson, Donta Jones, Erik Wiegert, Tyrone Legette, Kevin Ramaekers, and Adolph Wenke won Football Pioneer Awards along with Brad Fults (Chadron State), Ruben Mendoza (Wayne State), and Webster VanValkenburgh (Hastings). The chapter also presented its Clarence Swanson Memorial Award to Joe Silverman of Lincoln and the Lyell Bremser Special Merit Award to former Husker assistant coach George Darlington.

Two-Minute Drill

Ohio State set a school record with its 22nd consecutive regular-season victory, breaking the previous mark of 21 from 1967-69. The Buckeyes also honored its 1942 national championship team on its 65th anniversary at halftime of their game against Northwestern last Saturday... Southern California is 62-6 in its last 68 games for the best FBS 60-plus-games' mark since Nebraska was 60-3 from 1993-97. The Trojans extended their Pac-10 Conference home winning streak record to 35 games after topping Washington State last week... Cincinnati is No. 24 in this week's AP poll for its first national ranking since Oct. 25, 1976... Rutgers has achieved its second Top 10 ranking in school history at No. 10 in AP and ESPN USA TODAY this week... Texas (97 victories) and Boise State (94) are 1-2 in total NCAA FBS triumphs since 1998... Oklahoma has been rated No. 1 in the all-time Associated Press poll survey (1936-2007) by researcher Robert Lemieux of McDaniel (Md.) College by an average of most appearances in the weekly polls. The Sooners have appeared in 68 percent of all the polls with an average position of 7.18. Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, and Ohio State compose the top five out of a total of 94 current FBS members that have been ranked at least once over 72 seasons.

Harvard organized additional police patrols and special parking shuttles for safety at last Saturday's first-ever home night game against Brown... Arkansas State has added Penn State in 2008 and Nebraska in 2009 to its future schedules. Both games will be on the road... Indiana football student-athletes met with and signed autographs for the "Special Spectators" area youth program at recent home contests... Kentucky is holding its annual charitable Wildcats Can Defeat Hunger canned food drive for area pantries on Sept. 21-30. The Wildcats also are 4-0 with a SEC win included for the first time since 1950. Arkansas is participating with the SEC's Together We Can campaign to fight hunger over the same dates... San Jose State is wearing a "BW" logo on its helmets and on shirts of the SJSU coaching staff to memorialize late Spartans' alumnus Bill Walsh... TCU set a season sales record last week with 14,468 (and counting)... Notre Dame and Adidas supplied 75,000 white towels for Hannah & Friends and (Notre Dame's Web site) during the ND-Michigan State game on Sept. 22 with the slogan "Tradition Never Graduates - Notre Dame Football" and logos of Adidas, Hannah & Friends, and 1954 UCLA national championship team standout John Peterson was honorary captain for the Bruins' game last Saturday vs. Washington. His '54 UCLA head coach was NFF College Hall of Fame member Henry "Red" Sanders... Wisconsin director of athletics Barry Alvarez is the guest speaker for the Oct. 9 Boys & Girls Club of Janesville, Wis., annual Steak & Burger Banquet... Former Northeastern State (Okla.) director of athletics Jack Dobbins received the NSU Community Service Award for 60 years of dedication to Northeastern during "Come Home to the Dome" Homecoming activities at Northeastern last weekend... North Dakota has chosen Betty Ralston and Steve Brekke as co- acting athletics directors to fill in for Tom Buning, who is on a leave of absence... Texas Tech named Ruffin McNeill interim defensive coordinator... SkyWest Magazine featured an article on the "top games to watch across SkyWest Country this season." Some of the games listed include this weekend's UCLA-Oregon State match-up and next weekend's Hawaii-San Jose State tussle... Montana "super fans" Dico and Kristy Dicomitis pledged their matrimonial vows on August 31 in a Grizzlies-themed wedding, which coincided with Collegiate Licensing Company's College Colors Day. CLC helped arranged for school fight and theme songs, cheerleaders, color-coded dresses and apparel, and a stadium location for the wedding... The Hoover Presidential Museum will show the Iowa-Indiana game Sept. 29 on the big screen in the Museum's Figge Auditorium. President Hoover was the 1960 recipient of the Gold Medal, the NFF's highest honor.

Florida Atlantic trustees approved a $62 million, 30,000-seat football stadium on campus to be completed before the 2010 season... Cal Poly attracted a school-record 11,075 overflow crowd for its 2007 home opener against Weber State at renovated Alex G. Spanos Stadium... Louisiana- Lafayette is nearing completion on the second indoor practice facility for a FBS school within Louisiana... Ohio State played its 500th game at Ohio Stadium last Saturday... Columbia debuted its new Lion Store for apparel and game-day goodies last Saturday at Lawrence Wien Stadium at Baker Field.

The Sept. 15 Kentucky-Louisville contest posted a record 1.84 national rating for ESPN Classic... CSTV and Cox Sports will televise several Rhode Island athletics' outings exclusively. CSTV also signed an agreement with Armed Forces Network to carry live or taped accounts of six games involving U.S. service academies worldwide this season... The Big Ten Network will air "The Big Ten's Great Football Games" series starting Tuesday with two classic confrontations featured weekly... GamePlan Technologies of Omaha, Neb., has announced an interactive networking program among schools to link as many as 19 sports, including football... Oklahoma and Sooner Sports Properties have extended their broadcast and promotions' agreements through 2017... Nissan and ESPN The Magazine began their second Gridiron Blowout Tour with ultimate tailgate experiences and other amenities at the Alabama- Georgia game last Saturday. The 10-city tour will end at the Texas-Texas A&M tussle in College Station on Nov. 23... State Farm Insurance has signed a three-year pact to sponsor the SMU- TCU State Farm DFW Duel - Battle for the Iron Skillet from 2007-09.

NFF College Football Hall of Famers Roger Staubach and Emmitt Smith joined former CBS football sideline reporter and Miss America Phyllis George in the charity benefit "Dancing With a Vision" last Thursday in Dallas. Staubach also addressed Oklahoma State's squad before the Cowboys won their Big 12 opener 49-45 over Texas Tech... The Mobile Press-Register has named the late College Football Hall of Famer Reggie White of Tennessee as the top defensive lineman for its 75-year Southeastern Conference Anniversary series... Famed Louisville RB Howard Stevens had his jersey honored at the UL-Syracuse tilt last weekend... Former Alabama standout Freddie Roach is hosting the Freddie Roach Golf Classic to benefit (all proceeds) Alabama football alumnus Victor Ellis, who is fighting cancer. The fundraiser will be at Tuscaloosa's Woodland Forrest Country Club on Friday, Oct. 5, and will be a four-man scramble. Kentucky LB Terry Clayton is the second nominee for the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award announced at the end of the year. The senior was left almost completely deaf after a serious case of chicken pox at age five. He walked on to the Wildcats' football team and is an honor-roll student and kinesiology major. Clayton also regularly visits the Kentucky School for the Deaf, which he once attended, to encourage the students... 2006 NFF Hall of Famer Rich Glover (Nebraska) has taken over the Jersey City (N.J.) Dickinson High School football program... 2003 NFF Chris Schenkel winner and iconic Georgia broadcaster Larry Munson, who turns 85 this week, missed his second UGa game since 1966 when Georgia edged Alabama last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Munson decided in July 2007 to work only Bulldogs' home games in '07.

Garrard "Buster" Ramsey, 87, a 1978 inductee into the NFF College Hall of Fame from William & Mary, on Sept. 16 in Chattanooga, Tenn... Sam Houston (Texas) HS football student-athlete Quintarick Wilson died on Sept. 15 after a shooting in Arlington.

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